Headed back to the Big Apple: Mount Si Jazz Band selected to prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition for 5th time

On February 23rd Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the 15 finalists who will compete in its 24th Annual Essentially EllingtonHigh School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in New York City this May – and for the 5th time, Mount Si High School made the list.

According to a press release, “The competition unites students from coast to coast, and from diverse backgrounds to find harmony together while playing some of the most complex music ever written.”

The bands were selected from a competitive pool of 112 after submitting recordings of three tunes performed from the Essentially Ellington Library. From May 9 through the 11, talented young musicians from across the country will participate in workshops, jam sessions and sectionals before competing for top honors. Afterward, a concert and awards ceremony will take place featuring this year’s top three bands alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Mount Si Jazz Band is Directed Bill Leather. In a district announcement he commented, “We are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our jazz students bring to the music every day. Their passion and commitment to excellence is inspiring!We are looking forward to representing Mount Si High School at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival in May alongside some of the best high school jazz programs in the country.”

MSHS Jazz I students include:Saxophones:  Jackson Beymer, Christian Palomo, Tychon Preston, Elijah Wray, Nathaniel Wray;Trumpets:  Paula Bachtal, Analise Chiu, Sage Eisenhour, Ethan Palomo, Brandon Wilhite;Trombones:  Corey Gazit, James Kolke, Tate Satterlee, Erik Thurston;Drums:  Parker Grady, Ethan Horn; Piano:  Aiden Drake;Flute:  Kaitlin Ray; Bass: Seb Rowland;Guitar:  Ryan Horn;Vocals:  Sage Eisenhour

The full list of 2019 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Finalists includes:

  • Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
  • Denver School of the Arts (Denver, CO)
  • Dillard Center for the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Foxboro High School (Foxborough, MA)
  • Garfield High School (Seattle, WA)
  • Middleton High School (Middleton, WI)
  • Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA)
  • Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ)
  • Rio Americano High School (Sacramento, CA)
  • Roosevelt High School (Seattle, WA)
  • San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (San Diego, CA)
  • Sun Prairie High School (Sun Prairie, WI)
  • Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL)
  • Philharmonic Association (Raleigh, NC)
  • William H. Hall High School (West Hartford, CT)
MSHS Jazz Band performing in early February at the BC Jazz Festival

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